As per The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Outbound Travel Market’, a report prepared by UNWTO and ETC with the support of Value Retail finds that per-capita international tourism spending from the GCC was 6.5 times higher than the global average last year, with expenditure estimated to be more than USD 60 billion. Emphasizing on the potential of outbound travel from the Middle East, the 7th Annual MICE Arabia and Luxury Travel (MALT) Congress 2019, the regions’ exclusive business platform, will bring the world of outbound business and luxury travel from the Middle East under one roof.
Given the potential of the increasing travelers and disposable income from the Middle East, ‘Halal’ tourism is clearly a growing market segment. It has become imperative for the hospitality industry to adapt to changing halal requirements to meet their needs to attract these travelers. By 2020, the number of Halal traveller numbers are projected to grow to 150-156 million, with Amadeus projecting a collective spend of USD200 billion.
According to an Allied Market Research report, the global luxury travel market may garner up to USD1,154 billion by 2022. Changing trends in the outbound luxury travel and tourism now include a great demand for new experiential travel and exotic destinations, in sync with the changing role of travelers into adventurers.
GCC travellers are increasingly giving more preference to engaging leisure with business while exploring new exciting and affordable destinations. Alina Drutman, Managing Partner, DMW Travel said, “MICE travel trends are dynamically changing and countries like Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia have now become the top destinations for their luxurious stay offerings while being great hosts to business needs. Additionally, these destinations have been preferred for its close proximity to language and cultural similarities.”
Exploring emerging markets is a top trend witnessed from the Middle East region, Ravshan Turakulov, CEO Silk Road Destination, Central Asia Tours Incoming Agency, said “Uzbekistan is emerging as a top destination as Middle East buyers are continually looking to invest in new economies and offer new destinations as options for their MICE and Luxury travel requirements.”
MICE travel is not just restricted to the meetings and events but to provide employees family vacation as well. The MICE industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the travel sector generating millions of dollars in revenue every year. Offering Poland as an emerging market for MICE, Agnieszka Borowska, Managing Director, Visit Poland DMC said, “We are seeing an upward trend in Poland for Corporate Leisure travelers. We expect a high growth in number of tourists from the Middle East visiting Poland demanding for luxury accommodations.” He also adds, “Security, family friendly locations, comfort, direct flights, and more flexible pricing options allows Poland to be one of the preferred destinations.”
Attendees at the MALT Congress include high caliber industry professionals, government policy makers, senior decision makers and MICE and luxury suppliers from different regions such as Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS, Uzbekistan and Poland, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan along with MICE buyers and specialists from the top GCC companies.
The future of MICE travel can also be summed up as personalization being the key trend. The desire for greater personalization, individualization and face-to-face contact is on the rise, creating challenges and great potential at the same time for event planners and venue operators. Vittorio Marsiglio, CEO, Intercontinental Travel Company, “We have seen 7% increase in the number of travellers from Arabia. This, we learn is a great result of customer satisfaction, through the high standard quality of chosen services, the personalization (a unique selection of tailor-made offers), its experience and the deep knowledge of the products we are keen to offer.”
Visa-free travel also becomes very important to attract GCC travelers, as they factor in this aspect while planning their itinerary.
Commenting on the congress, Sidh NC, Director, OnA International said, “As the Middle East sees a surge in outbound travel, there is more emphasis to recognize the importance of MICE and making MICE friendly destination offerings and unique experiences available. As Middle East buyers are continually on the lookout for new destinations and novel experiences, this year the key highlight at the 7th Annual MICE Arabia & Luxury Travel Congress will be to explore new destinations as well as address local, regional and global trends and challenges in the MICE and luxury travel sector.”
The MALT congress for seven consecutive years is touted as the “global meeting point” of influencers from the world of conferences, meetings, incentives, events, business and luxury travel who gather for two intensive days of making connections, learning, innovation & networking. Building on the tremendous potential of the growing outbound travel and luxury travel market in the Middle east region, the 7th annual MALT Congress will focus on driving business success, benefiting from all year-round opportunities to making connections, exploring trends and technologies from around the world and deep dive into every aspect of travel.
Organiser: About QNA International
QNA International creates and delivers business learning and development exchange platforms through B2B conferences, bespoke events and trainings. The company also has an expertise in outsourced sponsorship sales and key account management. www.qnainternational.com
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